Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The "S" Word

I never thought I would say this. In fact, I'm not sure I can say it. I'll just type it. Please don't judge me too harshly.

I am now... a child spanker.

There. It's out. Phew. That feels better.

I never thought I would need to spank my kids. I thought that if I used the time-out method, my kids would cry and repent and never do wrong again. Well, sort of. But I did think that time-out would work for Caleb. But alas, as you can tell from my last post in which my son was screaming at the dinner table, it has not worked.

So, after some great advice from my friend Linda (who has 6 young kids and knows a thing or two about parenting!) and some soul-searching, I am now a spanker. And so far it's working! Caleb still has his defiant moments, but now all I need to do is remind him what the punishment is for misbehaving. He doesn't like being spanked, so usually the threat works. Usually.

Linda suggested disciplining right at the moment of misbehavior, and that's working for us. If Caleb acts up at the dinner table, he has to get down and get a spanking, then he can return to the table and eat.

I had reservations about spanking because in my mind I link spanking with violence. Will spanking him now lead him to be more violent in the future? My fears have been somewhat realized: since we started spanking, he has become more physical with his brother. He wants to discipline Isaac, and I saw him trying to spank Isaac the other day. But I think if he grows up knowing that spanking follows bad behavior and that he knows that we spank him out of love (and never in anger), he'll be okay. At least that's what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.

No one said parenting was easy! I'd love to hear comments from you guys about how you handle discipline in your house.


Bev said...

Tiffany, you get my vote.

Spanking is the parenting equivalent of rebooting my laptop. I don't like it, never liked to do it, like it less now that it's my grandsons, but sometimes it is called for when you have an unrepentant little guy.

The good news is that if you get their attention early, you won't have to resort to it as often or for very long. They'll know what you mean when you say, "if you don't stop, then..." THE THREAT also works in public places where you really don't have a lot of discipline options.

No, parenting is not easy. When they're little they drain all of your energy trying to keep up with them and then when they're older, they drain all of your brain cells trying to answer their questions and stay ahead of them.

But grandparenting is a lot of fun and pretty easy. :)

Bev said...

There's one more thing I should have mentioned which is probably obvious, but I think spanking should be a last resort and always, always preceeded by a discussion at the level a child can grasp and ended with a discussion and a hug. The child should not feel as though he or she is no longer loved or accepted by the parent.

some chick said...

we prefer to duct tape them by their thumbs to the wall of the closet. ; )